BULLETIN 173, FALL 1985 US ISSN 0040-6406
THE CONCORD FARMERS CLUB AND THOREAU 'S
"SUCCESSION OF FOREST TREES" by Louisa Kussln
The extract below has been taken from the Rec-
ords of the Concord Farmers Club for the year 1859-
1860. It is the "minutes" of a discussion which
followed an essay on "Forest Trees" read to the
Club on April 12, 1860 by Charles L. Heywood. Five
months and eight days after this date Henry D.
Thoreau delivered his address, "The Succession of
Forest Trees", at the annual Fair of the Middlesex
Agricultural Society in Concord. Since so many of
the Farmers Club's questions are answered in
Thoreau' s lecture, it seems obvious there is a re-
lation between the two. The Concord Farmers Club
was one of several local groups in Middlesex County
during the mid-nineteenth century. It met weekly
during the winter season - from early November
through April. At each meeting an essay on an
agricultural subject waa read» by one of the members
and a discussion of the subject followed, led off
by four "leaders". The leaders of the discussion
on the evening of April 12 were: Jacob B. Farmer,
Joseph D. Brown, John F. Wood, and Joshua Warren
Brown. It is mainly the remarks of these men - and
of the speaker - which were recorded. (Unfortunate-
ly, the Secretary was not required to list the
names of everyone present at these meetings -
although a few years later he was required to do so.)
The first meeting in the Club's season was
usually a business meeting. Officers were elected
for the incoming year, and a committee was appoint-
ed to assist the President in selecting the sub-
jects to be discussed and in assigning speakers to
them. For the 1859-60 season the officers were:
Nathan Henry Warren, President ; A.H. Wheeler, Vice
President; Elijah Wood, Jr., Treasurer; and Dr.
Joseph Reynolds, Secretary . Two of these men were
serving also as officials for the Middlesex Agri-
cultural Society: Joseph Reynolds was Secretary of
the Society, and Elijah Wood was a long-standing
member of the Board of Trustees, representing the
Town of Concord. The officers of the Club were also
its 1859-60 speech committee (although this was not
the usual course of events).
As for Charles L. Heywood, the speaker at the
April 12, 1860 meeting, he is reported to have been
a member of the family which owned four pieces of
property in the environs of Walden Pond - one of
them being "Heywood' s Meadow" (site of the affair
of the mud-turtle and the pout) on the WSW side of
Walden close to the Lincoln line, and another being
a woodlot on the ESE corner bordering directly on
the Pond. By profession, Mr. Heywood was a "rail-
road man", and is further reputed to have been an
"influential" one in his company. 2 His nomination
in November of 1858 coincided with a time when the
local farmers were trying to obtain lower rates for
The Thoreau Society, Inc., is an infor-
mal gathering of students and admirers of
Henry David Thoreau. Frederick Wagner,
President; Mary Anderson, Treasurer; and
Walter Harding, Secretary. Address communi-
cations to the Secretary at State University
College, Geneseo, N.Y. 14454. Dues, $10 a
year; Friend, $15 Family, $25; and Life
Membership, $500. Dues should be sent to
The Thoreau Society, 156 Belknap St., Con-
cord, Mass. 01742, where the society
maintains The Thoreau Lyceum
their daily milk shipments into the city. More
than ten years after this April 1860 evening,
Minot Pratt wrote the following:
"The chestnut trees of Concord do not at
present appear to have a fair opportunity
to show what they can do if left to old
age. The railroad call for sleepers has
had the singular effect of waking up the
owners of woodlots to search for all that
are of sufficient size, and the axe lieth
at the root of those which have not already
fallen. The fruit of these would be valu-
able if they could be left until large
size, and the boys would understand that
the owner as properly owns the fruit of
his chestnut grove as of his apple orchard
. . ." (March 6, 1873, CFC Records)
Since it is likely that the conditions which
caused Minot to write as he did in 1873 were not
so different from what they had been a decade or
so earlier, it seems possible to probable that
Charles Heywood asked permission to address the
members of the Club on the subject of Forest Trees
at this final meeting of their 1859-60 season. 3
Should future research prove this to have been
the case, it was not to be the only occasion dur-
ing this period in its history when the Farmers
Club accommodated a distinguished non-agricultural
member. The following year, an additional meeting
was called at the end of the official season in
order that the Superintendent of Schools, Bronson
Alcott, might read an essay - which he called
Mr. Heywood remained in the Club one more year
after his talk to the farmers. But he did not read
another essay, and after the 1860-61 season his
name no longer appears on the membership lists
in the Club Records.
In its eight years of existence prior to April
12, 1860, the Concord Farmers Club had never
accorded an evening to the discussion of Forest
Trees (or Woodlands). Trees had been discussed
from the standpoint of fruit-bearers or in rela-
tion to their ornamental and protective charac-
teristics (as in plantings around homes, or culti-
vated fields or pastures to protect crops or live-
stock from excessive weather conditions). In the
decade following Mr. Heywood ' s essay, however,
sessions on Forest Trees were scheduled nearly
every year, or at the least, every other year.^
Twenty-one essays were written and read before
the Farmers Club during the 1859 season. Thirteen
were copied in the Record book (as was the custom);
two others were printed later in the New England
Farmer; and another may have retained by its author
to be used as a draft for a committee report which
appeared in the 1860 Transactions of the Middlesex
Agricultural Society. Of the five essays which re-
main missing, one - of course- is Charles L. Hey-
wood's piece on "Forest Trees".
The Minutes -
April 12 (1860). Club met at the home of C.L.
Voted to have the supper on the 19th unless some-
thing important should prevent, in which case each
member will be notified of the time.
An Essay on Forest Trees was read by Mr. Heywood
(Charles L. )
J.B. Farmer (Jacob B.) said we need more light
on the subject. We need more accurate knowledge of
trees. We can hardly describe a tree were we to or-
der it from abroad. He has recently examined sever-
al species of pines. The Scotch pine has two leaves
in each sheath. The Pitch pine 3. The White five.
The Norwegian he thinks 4.
There are several kinds of oak, all of which
differ in the shape of their berries. We have three
kinds of maple, the Sugar, the White and the red.
He thinks each tree feeds on different elements in
the soil. We find a succession of different trees
grow on the same soil. If we cut off pines, oaks
will come up. If we cut off oaks, pines will follow
on some soils, oaks will come up after oaks. Such
soils have some mineral element that suits the oak.
When this is exhausted, another kind will come. The
White pine, the Chestnut, and the birch grow so
fast, that they are the most profitable trees to
raise. The larch grows in low grounds,
J.D. Brown (Joseph D.) said he had but little
accurate knowledge about trees. On a piece of land
he owns, there had been three successive crops of
oaks . Pine is followed by oak, but oak land will
bring up oaks. He does not think much of pruning
forest trees. Thinning will not benefit those which
remain. On suitable land it would be advisable to
set forest trees, but not on tillage land.
Mr. Heywood asked when he would cut wood if he
wished the sprouts to grow. He replied, In the
winter. He has cut only in the winter. Land that he
cut in winter has come up, and produced 25 cords
per acre in 25 years .
Mr. Warren (Nathan Henry) said he had noticed
the difference in sprouts, when the wood was cut in
November, and in March. When cut in March there
would be 5 times as many sprouts. Mr. Jones (Hiram
W.) had cut in June, and there were scarcely any
The Pres. (Nathan Henry Warren) thinks that trees
cut in summer do not generally start much.
Mr. Jones has cut Alders in August, not one in a
John F. Wood did not think there was much land
in Concord which could be profitably set out with
forest trees, except for shade. Sprouts are apt to
grow too thick. If only one or two were left to
grow, they might grow larger. The sprouts might be
cut when large enough for hoop poles. This would
pay - and the benefit to those left, would pay for
the labor. As many as 8 or 10 Chestnut sprouts start
from a stump. All but 2 or three die. It has been
said that roots will run as far as the height of
the trees. Some conversation ensued about the age
J.W. Brown (Joshua Warren) does not think it
would pay to set out trees. In the rocky pastures,
they grow fast enough, if left alone. He has mowed
brush many years in succession but they continued
to grow. In one such lot, a good crop is now grow-
ing. It is best to cut off the wood when the trees
are three or four inches through. Then they would
come up evenly.
C.L. Heywood said if you keep such land, say 10
acres for pasture, and mow the brush, and another
10 acres grow to wood, which will be the most
profitable. In 30 years you will have 25 cords of
wood to the acre, worth $3 per cord standing. The
pasture will not be worth more than enough to pay
for mowing the brush.
Mr. Brown on sandy land would let pitch pines
grow. J.B. Brown (James B.) asked if pitch pine
was the best answer. It was the best wood. C.L.
Heywood said a tree standing alone will yield much
seed. But the land will be some years in getting
seeded. It was better to plant it all at one time,
which might be done for $6 per acre. Then it
would grow even.
E. Wood Jr. (Elijah) thinks there are more acres
growing to wood in> Concord than there were 80 years
J. B. Farmer thinks there are twice as many
acres grown or growing to wood than there were
40 years ago.
E. Wood's grandfather had seen 40 acres of rye
growing where there are now board logs.
Mr. Heywood had been buying wood for 12 years.
Wood would be no higher. There are more acres
growing by one 4th than 10 years ago.
We now burn coal. Have fuel saving stoves. 12
years ago, fuel was 50 cents higher than now. He
has purchased wood in Boston for $3.25 the past
year. On the Peterboro road for $3.12. On the Main
road $4. Last year cheaper than ever. If there were
2 or 3 pencil factories in town, it would pay to
raise pines. Where shall the manufacturers go to
get timber . Sapling pines are more than hard wood.
In Townsend pine was worth $4 per cord. One cord
and a half will grow per acre in a year, on land
worth $5. Poor land will grow pines rapidly. It
will grow hard wood 2 or 3 inches thick. When it
stops growing the land cannot carry it further.
Poor land worth $5 net(s) more than our lands
worth $15 or ($)20.
E. Wood referred to a piece of land on which the
owner gave away the wood for cutting. It was plowed
and planted to potatoes. Brush was mowed. It yield-
ed but little pasturage. It was then left to grow
up to wood, and is now worth $100 per acre.
The President spoke of a lot in Weymouth which
a friend of his purchased for pasture. There were
some pines on it. They were left standing. This
was 50 years ago. His friend has been offered $400
per acre .
A.H. Wheeler (Abiel H.) said the frost killed
the young oaks in the valleys on Fairhaven Hill.
Mr. Heywood said stock the land with pines, and
then set oaks. The pines will protect them from
frost,. When the oaks are large enough to endure
the frost, cut the pines. They will pay well for
cutting. Chestnuts and some other trees will do
as well as pines to protect the young oaks.
Adjourned. This is the last meeting for the
season. The meetings have been well attended, and
the interest sustained through the winter as well
or better than in any previous year. The discus-
sions have been animated, and many able essays
have been read. Several new members have joined the
Club. Joseph Reynolds, Secretary
1. The purpose of these local groups was pri-
marily "educational". By pooling their ideas and
their experience, the members of the Clubs sought
to establish more scientific methods in the prac-
tice of their vocation. Frequently these men were
among the most enlightened farmers in their commun-
ities, and the Concord Club, during the '60s and
'70s, included some very talented people. It might
be stated that, on the whole, the smaller groups
were more effective in disseminating a genuine
knowledge of agriculture than the larger county
societies which preceded them in formation.
2. This assessment of Mr.Heywood's professional
status is confirmed by a news item about the
annual dinner held by the Club, which appeared in
the June, 1860 issue of the New England Farmer .
The name of C.L. Heywood is printed among the
names of notables who rose at the end of the meal
to deliver "a few remarks" to the guests. I am in-
debted to Marcia Moss and Thomas Blanding for this
3. The subject of "Forest Trees" was on the
original program as scheduled by the speech commit-
tee at the beginning of the season. That is, it
was not a last-minute addition to the schedule, nor
a substitute for another subject, as sometimes
4. Should the question arise as to whether a
lecture on "Forest Trees' would have been scheduled
had not Heywood desired to address the Club, it
is the opinion of this writer that it would have
been, for the reason that conditions with respect
to harves table wood throughout the county and the
state at this time were such that consideration
of the subject by the farmers had become mandatory.
It is also the opinion of this writer that neither
Mr. Heywood' s possible desire for lumber for his
railroad, nor the ignorance of both Heywood and
the farmers about trees were strong enough reasons
to compel the Society to requisition a "Succession
of Forest Trees" from Henry D. Thoreau unless these
other "conditions" had been in existence.
REFLECTIONS IN A STREETLIGHT
by Stephen A. Kenney
Editor's note: In 1984 Stephen A. Kenney of Ken-
more, New York, a graduate student in English at
SUNY Buffalo who is doing his diss-ertaion on
Thoreau, planted wildflowers on his front lawn and
upon complaint of some of his neighbors, was found
guilty of "creating a public hazard." When he re-
fused to cut them down, a judge imposed a fine of
fifty dollars a day. The case is on appeal. ]
One evening early last fall, as I was walking
down the tree-lined suburban street on which I live,
I could hear up ahead an odd high-pitched noise,
one I could not immediately identify. The evening
was rather late, the traffic had died down, and
only the low grumbling of distant trucks, factories,
and city streets was audible, serving as a contrast-
ing background to those sharp sounds and making
them seem foreign, somehow out of place. As I near-
ed my front yard, I realized the strange tones
were issuing from there; and I smiled to myself in
the streetlit semi-darkness, recognizing the cheer-
ful singing of a choir of crickets. For the first
time, it dawned on me that, save for the occasion-
al forlorn chirrup of a solitary individual, I
rarely ever hear crickets anymore. I stood stock
still for a few moments and let my ears drink in
the music that had seemed eternal in my rural
childhood. I closed my eyes and imagined that
these insects were celebrating this small oasis of
tangled grasses and wildflowers, and praising the
Great Mystery which had so bountifully provided
for them. The knotty tension in my muscles — put
there by months of chaotic disruption in my life:
the recently lost court battle, the swirling media
circus,, the wrenching Kafkaesque scenes — began
to loosen, and I felt, if only for a fleeting in-
stant, that it had all been worth it; the crickets
at least, understood.
Moments such as that are, unfortunately, all
too rare for me these days, and with the appeal
trial scheduled for June, I see even fewer of
them in the near future. The absolute irony is
that I originally moved to this neighborhood be-
cause I knew that my decision to go back to school
required I find a more peaceful setting than the
very distracting urban one in which I was then
living. Although, I certainly would've preferred
a rural residence, money, distance, and availabili-
ty made this suburban one a happy medium; or so I
had hoped. The understanding landlords gave me
carte blanche to make myself entirely at home; the
neighbors, as I've come to learn only too well,
want me to make my home elsewhere. What very few
of them seem to understand is that I'm not fignting
so much simply for my own home as I am for every-
one's — including the crickets', for if they
can't survive, we certainly won't either. The a-
stounding lack of progress in understanding this
very simple fact does not bode well for our sur-^-
vival; sadly though, this has been said.So many
times before and so many times has gone unheeded.
As a fellow "student and admirer of Henry David
Thoreau," I share with you a desire to point out
the relevance, the necessity , of understanding the
wisdom of his work and of seeing our world through
his eyes. As we have all seen, however, too often
Thoreau is reduced to a bumper-sticker aphorism,
made incomprehensible by esoteric criticism, or
given semi-divine status by ardent devotees. Per-
haps one of the most disappointing things about my
"celebrated lawn trial" is the way I'm depicted as
some sort of side-show oddity, an overzealous "dis-
ciple of Thoreau' s. They seem to say, "isn't this
all very quaint. Now back to the serious news."
(Although I do admit I was pleased with the sober
treatment Dan Rather gave the story, complete with
an appropriate quotation from "Civil Disobedience.")
Nevertheless, for now, I think we should at least
feel some satisfaction at having Thoreau' s name
mentioned at all.
One of the major reasons I went to graduate
school was my deep longing to immerse myself in a
systematic study of Thoreau' s works and to figure
out a way to make his thoughts more accessible and
more meaningful to an audience much larger than
the small group of us already concerned. I was
looking for something important to say about his
life's work, something that would crystalize his
philosophy and make it pertinent to everyone's
life. If people would not recognize the clarion of
Chanticleer, I wanted to build a clanging alarm
clock. To be honest, though, when I scattered the
first handful of wildflower seeds in my front yard,
I was not thinking of Thoreau; I was merely re-
sponding to my own environmental impulse. Yet I
quickly discovered that planting my flowers and
standing firmly by my right to do so in the face
of legal threats by "the desperate party" was it-
self a profound study of Thoreau; although uninten-
tional, my experience has, 1 believe, offered a
depth to my appreciation of his words that no
amount of time in the library could have. And this
summer, when I can once again listen to the chorus
of crickets surrounded by silent lawns, I'll know
that, at least for me , dawn is only hours away.
PUBLIC RELATIONS: Margaret Brace, Lillian
Files, Laurie Ledeen (Chairperson), Patience
PUBLICATIONS: Thomas Blanding*, Malcolm
Ferguson, Walter Harding*, Linck Johnson, John
McAleer, Anne R. McGrath, Joel Myerson (chair-
THE ANNUAL MLA SESSION
The Thoreau Society will, as usual, spon-
sor a winter meeting at the annual convention
of the Modern Language Association, to be
held this year in Chicago just after Christ-
mas. It will feature papers on "Teaching
Walden " by Linck Johnson, Richard Lebeaux,
Robert Richardson, and Timothy Trask, and
chaired by Michael Meyer and Joel Myerson.
Date and place will be announced in the
catalog of the convention.
ADDITIONS TO THE THOREAU BIBLIOGRAPHY.
BY Michael Meyer
The Thoreau Society needs financial sssistance.
Since 1983 the Society has found it necessary to
draw upon funds from its modest endowment in ord-
er to meet its operating expenses. Twenty-eight
dollars and twelve and one half cents simply doesn't
go as far as it once did. The Society's activities
are thriving but so are its costs. Several steps
have been taken to avoid future deficits, including
a new membership drive, an increased fee for lyceum
admissions, and reduced costs for printing the
BULLETIN and THE CONCORD SAUNTERER. In addition,
the Society has established a Development Committee
that will seek grants and donations.
All members of the society are urged to think
creatively about how we can raise money from corp-
orations or other organizations that might be will-
ing to help support various Lyceum, publications,
and archives programs. If you have any ideas, leads,
or contacts concerning potential contributors,
please describe tham and inform Robert Galvin
(chairperson of the new Development Committee: %
Gage, Tucker & vom Baur, One Boston Place, Boston,
Mass. 02108). And of course, individual amounts
(perhaps supplemented by corporate employers who
have matching programs) are as welcomed as they
are sorely needed. Checks should be made payable
to the Thoreau Society, 156 Belknap Street, Concord,
Mass. 01742. Whatever help you can provide will be
THOREAU SOCIETY COMMITTEES
President Frederick Wagner announces the
appointment of the following committees of
the society for 1985-1986. The president is
ex officio a member of each committee. Other
ex officio members are marked with an aster-
ARCHIVES: Thomas Blanding, Malcolm Ferguson
(vice chairperson), Dana McLean Greeley
(chairperson), Walter Harding, Anne R. Mc-
Grath*, Michael Meyer, Marcia Moss*, Edmund
Schofield, Jacgueline Tidman.
DEVELOPMENT: Mary Anderson*, Raymond R.
Borst, John Clymer*, Robert Galvin (chair-
person), Walter Harding*, Barbara Winstanley,
Barbara Wojtusik, Ann H. Zwinger.
EXECUTIVE: Mary Anderson*, John Clymer
(chairperson), Dana McLean Greeley, Walter
Harding*, Laurie Ledeen, Joel Myerson, Marian
Wheeler, Robert Galvin, chairperson of Lyceum
FINANCE: Mary Anderson* (chairperson), John
Clymer*, Mary McClintock, Eric Parkman Smith. Kidder, Rushworth. "Rushworth Kidder
LYCEUM: chair and members now being select- Reads Thoreau." CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONI-
ed. TOR. Aug. 5, 1985.
PROGRAM: Lillian Files, Persis Green, Lind- Lebeaux, Richard. THOREAU'S SEASONS. Re-
a Henning, Patience MacPherson, Lucille Need- view: NEW ENGLAND QUARTERLY. March, 1985
ham, Marilyn Nicoson, Joan Nolan, Eugene Walk-
er, Mary Walker, Marian Wheeler (chairperson),
Abbott, P. "Henry David Thoreau, the
State of Nature, and the Redemption of
Liberalism." JOURNAL OF POLITICS, 47
(Feb. 1985), 182-208.
Beeching, Paul. "Thoreau' s Mountain and
Mine." CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR. Aug.
19, 1985. Mount Monadnock.
Bly, William. "Thoreau at Walden." in
LAND OF THE LIVING. Broken Arrow, Okla :
Bly, 1985. pp. 4-5. Poem.
. "Thoreau* s Cabin." in LAND OF THE
LIVING. p. 13. Poem.
. THOREAU'S WALDEN IDENTITY: A PSYCHO-
LOGICAL PORTRAIT. Broken Arrow, Okla.:
Bly (1026 West Boston Ave., 74012), 1985.
Bridgman, Richard. DARK THOREAU. Review:
SOUTHERN HUMANITIES REV. Winter ,_ 1984 .
Browne, Mark. "Thoreau Scholars Hail Dis-
covery of Artifacts." CONCORD JOURNAL.
Aug. 15, 1985. Discovery of Thoreau 's
Christenson, Andrew. "The Identification
and Study of Indian Shell Middens in
Eastern North America: 1643-1861." NORTH
AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGIST, 6 (1985), 227-243
Pays tribute to Thoreau' s early studies
in the field.
Currier, Ann-Mary. "Where Thoreau Roamed."
PROVIDENCE JOURNAL-BULLETIN. July 28,
1985. Visiting Walden Pond.
Gross, Robert A. "The Great Bean Field
Hoax: Thoreau and the Agricultural Re-
formers." VIRGINIA QUAR. REV., 61 (Sum-
mer, 1985), 483-496. A real delight.
Don't miss it.
Harding, Walter .THOREAU'S MINNESOTA JOUR-
NEY: TWO DOCUMENTS. New York: AMS Press
1985. 61pp. A reprint.
Howarth, William. THE BOOK OF CONCORD.
Review: SOUTHERN HUMANITIES REVIEW.
Leokum, Arkady. "Thoreau Idea Was to Keep
Life Simple." BATAVIA [N.Y.] NEWS. June
Magill, Frank N. "Henry David Thoreau" in
MASTERPLOTS OF AMERICAN LITERATURE, Vol.
V. New York: Harper, 1970. pp. 37-56.
Ma lion, Thomas. A BOOK OF ONE'S OWN. New
York: Ticknor & Fields, 1984. Many com-
ments on Thoreau as journalizer.
Miller, Linda. "A Teacher Returns Renewed"
NEW YORK TIMES. Sept. 8, 1985. On
studying Thoreau in Concord.
Nibbelink, H. "Thoreau and Wendell Berry:
Bachelor and Husband of Nature." SOUTH
ATLANTIC QUARTERLY, 84 (Spring, 1985),
Pokrovsky, Nikita. "Thoreau in Russia"
SOVIET LIFE, 9 (Sept. 1985), 57. Many
new details about Tolstoi's interest
in Thoreau .
Robinson, Kenneth A. THOREAU AND THE WILD
APPETITE. New York: AMS Press, 1985,
29pp. A reprint.
Roof, Christopher. "Yours Coneordially. "
MIDDLESEX NEWS. Sept. 6, 1985.
Schneider, Richard. "Thoreau and Nine-
teenth Century American Landscape Paint-
ing. ESQ, 31 (1985), 67-88.
Stull, W.L. "Action from Principle: Tho-
reau 's Transcendental Economics." ENG-
LISH LANG. NOTES, 22 (Dec. 1984), 58-62.
Taylor, C.A. "Authorship without Authori-
ity: Walden, Kierkegaard and the Experi-
ment in Points of View." in R.Schleifer
& R. Markley, KIERKEGAARD AND LITERATURE
Norman: Univ. of Okla, 1984. pp. 164-182.
Teele, John W. , ed. THE MEETING HOUSE ON
THE GREEN: A HISTORY OF THE FIRST PARISH
IN CONCORD AND ITS CHURCH. Concord:
First Parish, 1985. 361pp. Many men-
tions of Thoreau and his family.
Thoreau, Henry D. CAPE COD. Boston: Lit-
tle, Brown & New York Graphic Society,
1985. 230pp. $35. A huge, new coffee-
table size edition beautifully illustrat-
ed with photographs, maps, and drawings
that almost, as the editor William F.
Robinson hoped, gives the impression that
Thoreau could have made them himself to
illustrate his text. Robinson has dug
up many wonderful photographs, particular-
ly those of a Henry K. Cummings, added
some of his own, along with the drawings
of Amelia Watson and wins low Homer to
make a really superb book. Our only
quarrel is that a few (not many) of the
photographs are not quite as clear as
they might be. Robinson adds a table
of directions for hiking on the Cape
today where there has been little or no
change since Thoreau 's day. (He does
note however that one of the major
changes is the return of the pine for-
ests to the dunes.) This is an edition
you will treasure and enjoy.
The Same. Review. CAPE COD ORA-
CLE. Aug. 1, 1985.
The Same. Intro, by Robert Finch.
Orleans, Mass.: Parnassus, 1984. 319pp.
JOURNAL I [Princeton]. Review:
SOUTHERN HUMANITIES REVIEW. Winter, 1984
NATURAL HISTORY ESSAYS. Review:
SIERRA. March, 1985.
THOREAU IN THE MOUNTAINS. Review:
SOUTHERN HUMANITIES REV. Winter, 1985.
Warren, Joyce W. "The Gender of American
Individualism: Henry David Thoreau." in
THE AMERICAN NARCISSUS. New Brunswick, N.J.
Rutgers, 1984. pp. 55-71.
West, Michael. "Thoreau and the Language The-
ories of the French Enlightenment." ELH, 51
(Winter, 1984), 747-770.
Williams, Donald. "Lady of the Woods: Some
Correspondence of Fannie Hardy Eckstorm.
COLBY LIBRARY QUART. March 1985. pp. 28-33.
Wright, Mark T. "Addendum to Thoreau Story"
CONCORD JOURNAL. Sept. 19, 1985. More on
finding Thoreau' s flute book.
We are indebted to the following for in-
formation sent in for the bulletin: R.Borst,
R. Chapman, A. Christianson,R.Dupree,M.Fenn, M.
Grant, V. Ha lbert,W.Glick,H.Kiczka,V.Lottis,
M. Meeri field, J. Michel, R.Michelf elder, G. Mon-
tiero,M.Neussendorfer,R. Poland, C. Roof ,G.
Ryan, H.Schon, E.Shaw, R.Thompson, F.Ziegler
and J.Zuithoff. Please keep the secretary
informed of items he has missed and new
items as they appear.
ADDITIONS TO THE AUTHORITATIVE TEXT OF
"LIFE WITHOUT PRINCIPLE"
by Bradley P. Dean
The authoritative text of Thoreau' s essay "Life
without Principle" appears in Reform Papers, ed .
Wendell Glick (Princeton; Princeton Univ, Press,
1973), pp. 155-179. Recently, while generating re-
constructions of the early "Life without Principle"
lectures, I was obliged to work with this text in
quite some detail, and I noticed three rather in-
significant errors in the essay text and located the
sources of two quotations used by Thoreau but which
the editorial staff had been unable to locate prior
to publication. This text of the essay will be stan-
dard for many years to come, and since scholars will
want the most accurate text possible, I present
findings below. With the exception of my reference
to the essay text in Reform Papers as "RP," the
format and abbreviations employed in the additions
below are the same as those employed in the textual
apparatus to the essay (Reform Papers, pp. 374-377).
Errors in the essay text:
164.31-32 where-/ever) should read wher- /ever
166.13 ' guacas ' ] should rea d "Guacas'
177.36 Message,) should read Message.
Additions to "Textual Notes" (pp. 374-375):
161.15-17 "Greatness: Thoreau' s source for
quotation is The Heetopades of Ve'eshnoo Sarma,
in ji Series of Connected Fables , i nterspersed
with Moral , Prudential , and Political Maxims ,
tr. Charles Wilkins (Bath, 1787), Ch . 2 Fable 1:
"The story of the bull, the two jackals, and
the lion." The quotation also appears in
Thoreau' s Literary Notebook in the Library of
Congress , ed . Kenneth Walter Cameron (Hart fold:
Transcendental Books, 1964), p. 10.
166.11 "In the dry season: Thoreau 1 s source
for this quotation is "A Visit to the Indian
Graves of Chiriqui,"
New York Daily Tribune, 29 September 1859, P . 6,
166-13' "Guacas"; Emended from AM's and RP ' s
"'guacas'" on authority of the source of the
quotation and Thoreau's working draft in
Additions to "Table of Textual Variants" (p. 376):
*166. 13-14 grave- / yards AM Y RP; "
Graveyards folder 20.
Addition to "Emendations of the Copy-Text" (p. 3770;
166.13 'Guacas':} ' guacas ' AM RP
Addition to "End-of-Line Hyphenation, List B"
University of Connecticut
ADDENDA TO THE THOREAU BIBLIOGRAPHY, 1855-1895
by Gary Scharnhorst
I wish to supplement the bibliographies of sec-
ondary comment about Thoreau with sixteen overlook-
ed items from American periodicals during the period
between 1855 and 1895. The following list contains
a significant contemporary notice of the "Cape Cod"
essays; an overlooked obituary; several reviews of
"Thoreau's posthumously-published works, including
three initialed by the suffragist Henry B. Blackwell;
and a favorable reference to Walden by the Reverend
W.R. Alger, best known today for an earlier denunci-
ation of "the hermit of Concord."
1. "Pictor" tpseudo.}- "Massachusetts/(Correspondence
of the Evening Post)." New York Evening Post . 13
August 1855, 1:3.
A brief paragraph coroborates the claim, usually
traced to F. B. Sanborn, that serialization of the
"Cape Cod" essays in Putnam's was adruptly dis-
continued at least in part because Thoreau's tone
irritated some residents of the region. The par-
agraph merits quotation in full: "Mr. Thoreau's
Residentsof Cape Cod, published in Putnam have
given a good deal of offence to the people of
that part of the country, who think that they are
quite as high in the scale of civilization as
their neighbors are. Their, wild and solitary state
is no hindrance to their advance in all the graces
and refinements of life. Barnstable county has
furnished its full share of the intellect of
Massachusetts, and not a few of the best merchants
of Boston are from that quarter. They are proud
of their origin, and keep up their connection with
2. Joseph Palmer, M.D. "Association of the Alumni
of Harvard College/Necrology of the Past Year."
Boston Advertiser, 16 July 1862, 3:1-2.
Genealogical and biographical sketch of "David
Henry Thoreau" approximately 750 words: in length.
3. fEdmund H.J S(ears). Review of Excursions. Month-
ly Relieious Magazine. 30 (December 1863), 346-347.
The essays "will be read by those who love
Nature, and desire to see her through the eyes
of one specially anointed as her priest and
4. ANON. "Thoreau and 'Thjs Maine Woods. '/The Attrac-
tions of Nature." New York Evening Post, 22 August.
Favorable notice of "Thoreau's last published
work," which is "redolent of the genuine out-
door fragrance of the pine and freshness of the
mountain breeze." Includes excerpts totaling
about 2500 words.
5. (Edmund H.J S(ears) . Reveiw of Cape Cod. Monthly
Religious Maeazine . 33 (May 1865), 319-320.
The book "is thoroughly entertaining," though
much of fThoreau'sJ description is caricature."
6. ANON. Review of Cape Cod. Universalist Quarter-
y, 22 (July 1865), 399.
". . .fresh, original, a mirror of the shifting
sands of the Cape and restless waves of the
ocean, in full sympathy with Nature in all her
moods . . ."
7. (RufusO E(Ellis}. Review of Letters to Various
Persons. Monthly Religious Magazine, 34 (September
Criticizes Thoreau for "his real or affected
indifference" to the Civil War. The same issue
of this magazine contains several excerpts from
the book under the title "Random Readings."
8. ANON. Reviews of the A Week on the Concord and
Merrimack Rivers, Walden, and The Maine Woods.
Universalist Quarterly , 22 (October 1865),
". . .such books as these, bringing the reader
into fellowship with Nature, are profitable
every way," though many of Thoreau's observa-
tions "are shallow, egotistical, and imperti-
nent . "
9. ANON. Review of A Yankee in Canada,. Universa-
list Quarterly , 23 (October 1866), 513.
Brief, favorable notice of the work.
10. ANON. "Thoreau's 'Yankee in Canada. "/A Charac-
teristic Book — The Humors of Travel." New York
Evening Post , 4 October 1866, 1:12.
"No man of his generation more entirely escaped
from the thraldom of conventionalities, or
lived out more truly and freely his own life."
Excerpts about 800 words from the book.
11. CRufusJ E (El lis) . Review of A Yankee in Canada .
Monthly Religious Magazine , 36 (November 1866),
". . .pleasant and not uniasrructive and always
hightoned . "
12. ANON. Review of Thoreau the Poet -Naturalist
by W. E. Channing, Boston Transcrip t, 7 October
". . .a book readable as much for its quaint
biographer as for its curious bits of biogra-
13. H^enryJ B. Bflackwell). Review of Summer .
Boston W oman' s Journal , 26 July 1884, p. 244.
". . .a delightful book for quiet reading in
the open air during summer vacation."
14. William Rounseville Alger. "Everyday Philoso-
phy." Boston Transcript , 6 August 1892, 4:4.
Commends Thoreau's description of the "battle
of the ants" in Walden .
15. HCenry) B. B(lackwell). Review of Autumn.
Boston Woman's Journal , 24 September 1892, P. 309.
A work to be "welcomed by all the lovers of
(Thoreau's ) unique and genuine genius."
16. HCenryD B .B(lackwellJ . Review of Familiar
Letters of David Thoreau. Boston Woman' s Journa l ,
6 July 1895, p. 211.
". . .a deljghtful book . . ."
University of Texas at Dallas
SINCLAIR LEWIS' COPY OF WALDEN
by Julian Mason
The most recent catalogue from Serendipity Books
of Berkeley, CA (#43, July 1985) offers for sale
Sinclair Lewis' copy of Walden (item 345, $900). It
is an 1899 edition published by Crowell in the Handy
Volume Classics series, with introduction by Charles
The catalogue entry is quite informative, point-
ing out that the volume contains:
(Lewis') signature in ink on the front
endpaper, his marginal notes in pencil
throughout, three pencilled notes by
him, one on the great teachers of veg-
etarianism, another on sexual contin-
ence (over 50 words, in the margins
opposite Thoreau's treatments of these
subjects), and this interesting decla-
ration on the front pastedown: "NY. Aug
'07 / Read in noon hours of freedom
from the semi-bondage of 'Tales'; on
benches in Bryant Park; my Walden 2
feet of bench, my pond a drinking foun-
tain, my forest a few elms and maples,
where sparrows twittered. S.L."
The entry goes on to cite various sections of
Mark Schorer's biography of Lewis concerning his
reading of Walden and his claim for its influence
Time and again in later life, Sinclair
Lewis claimed that Thoreau had been of
all writers and thinkers "the major in-
fluence on his own work" (Mark Schorer,
SINCLAIR LEWIS: AN AMERICAN LIFE, pp.
769, 811, et passim . ) The present copy
clears up a small mystery, as to just
when Lewis read WALDEN. Under "1902,"
when Lewis was in high school and dis-
cussing in his recently-begun diary
all the books he was reading, Schorer
remarks: "It is surprising that he
neyer mentions either Thoreau or WALDEN,
for in adult life,, again, he claimed
for WALDEN a strong, formative influ^
ence." Schorer then quotes an adult
Lewis looking back on his Minnesota
boy-hood - "there was no book which
had for me a more peculiar and literal
enchantment than WALDEN" - and comments:
"One must wonder whether . . .he was
not imposing on the Minnesota years a
maturity of taste and judgment that
came only later." And under "1904,"
with Lewis in college and on a visit
to Boston and Cambridge, Schorer tells
us that Lewis "mentioned most of the
great New England writers in his diary
during these days, and read about a
number of them, but again, there is no
mention either of Thoreau or WALDEN,
and no thought of a trip to Concord."
Actually, Schorer never does discover
when Lewis first read WALDEN. And al-
though we do not know that either, at
least not for a certainty, it j,s cer-
tain that in August 1907, while living
in New York and turning out one Trans -
atlantic Tales , Sinclair Lewis would
snatch the noon hours for reading what
soon came to be the book with the great-
est influence on his own writings
Apparently, in Bryant Park Lewis was trying to
follow Thoreau's admonitions that "each one be very
careful to find out and pursue his own way" ( Walden .
Princeton, p. 71) and "However mean your life is,
meet and Luteit" (P. 328). Unfortunately, Lewis,
Bryant, and even Thoreau would find it much more
difficult to follow these in the Bryant Park of
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
UNDULATIONS OF WALDEN POND
by Edward C. Jacobs
Thoreau, remarking in "The Pond in Winter" about
the impossibility of accurately surveying on ice,
puts forth a striking geological insight that an-
ticipates by over fifty years a key idea associated
with the Continental Drift theory of the early
twentieth century, and later with the Plate Tecton-
ics theory of the 1960's. Thoreau's idea deals with
the undulation of the earth's crust:
While I was surveying, the ice, which
was sixteen inches thick, undulated ,
under a slight wind like water. It is
well known that a level cannot be used
on ice. At one rod from the shore its
greatest fluctuation, when observed by
means of a level on land directed to-
ward a graduated staff on the ice, was
three quarters of an inch, though the
ice appeared firmly attached to the
shore. It was probably greater in the
middle. Who knows but if our instru-
ments, were delicate enough we might
detect an undulation in the crust of
the earth? (Harding 221; italics mine)
That the earth's upper crust, the lithosphere,
does in fact undulate, in a fashion, like ice upon
water, is a concept central to A/ Wegener's theory
of Continental Drift. This theory posits the exis-
tence of a supercontinent during the Paleozoic Age
[called Pangea which evenually fragmented during the
Mesozoic Age] into the smaller continents known to-
day. Briefly put, these continental and oceanic mass-
es "ride piggyback on the ...outer, cooler litho-
sphere. Great fragments, or plates, of the litho-
sphere appear to jostle and move over the softer,
perhaps incipiently melted upper mantle of the Earth.
A crude analogy is that of the movements of great
plates of Arctic and Antarctic ice in response to the
currents in the underlying ocean" (Lapedes 116) .
"Crude analogy" nothwithstanding, the simile very
clearly describes the same phenomenon of the undula-
tion of the earth's crust that Thoreau speculated
upon while surveying on Walden.
The strongest support for the Continental Drift
theory, once hotly debated, lies in the more re-
cent and continuing geophysical investigations
since the 1960's called Plate Tectonics. Similar
to Continental Drift, Plate Tectonics posits "a
simple model of the Earth in which a rigid outer
shell 50-150km thick, the lithosphere . . .lie(s)
above a hotter, weaker semiplastic asthenosphere
, . . extendCing) . . . to a depth of 700km." The
lithosphere is composed of a small number of large
"rigid plates," which, as they move over the earth's
surface, "grind and scrape against each other as
they move independently like rafts of ice on water'
(Lapedes 650). Were we to revise somewhat the word-
ing of this analogy to read ". . .like rafts of
ice on Walden Pond," we would not be distorting
the import of the idea: the earth's crust of
lithospheric plates does indeed undulate much as
Thoreau speculated many years ago.
Harding, Walter, ed. The Variorum Walden : Henry
Washington Square Press,
David Thoreau. New York:
Lapedes, D.N., ed . McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of the
Geological Sciences. New York: McGraw-Hill Book
Louisana Tech University
Margaret Neussendorfer tells us that in a
letter of June 13, 1866 to Annie Fields now
in the Boston Public Library (Ms. C. 1.11 (100))
Sophia Hawthorne mentions her desire to buy or
hire for her brother Nathaniel the house near
the Railroad Station built by Henry Thoreau' s
father. She says it stands on a good acre of
land with twenty-five apple trees and was lived
in by the family and sold a while ago to a
young Irishman by Mrs. Thoreau.
The title of the title story of Joanna Russ ' s
THE ZANZIBAR CAT (1983) is taken from the last
chapter of WALDEN.
NOTES AND QUERIES
Our apologies to Jack Schwartzman for in-
advertently dropping his name as author of
the eulogy of his dear friend Leonard Klein-
A new adult condominium communityifn Reston,
Va. is named "Thoreau Place."
John Jakes in his 1982 novel NORTH AND SOUTH
(Harcourt, 1982) speaks of Thoreau as "a radical
. . .woodland anchorite" and quotes a line from
feld in the summer bulletin and to Martin Doud WAL ? EN ' , „ , _„_„ „ , , _
na for misspelling his name on the article ™£/o5 ^hn, 3271 Hagdeburgerforth, Forster
"Psychoanalyzing Henry: An Interview" in the r'esp'Bn^ing'wi^My A^rica^Sn^nSr^u^ H8 r
spring bulletin. is 25 and writes fluent English.
A great deal of excitement has been arous- A lead pencil label on exhibit recently at
ed in Concord this summer by the discovery of the Houghton Library at Harvard University
Thoreau's long missing flute book (in which reads, "J. Thoreau & Co's best quality lead
he pressed many of his wildflowers) by Mark pencils, for drawing or writing, and all the
Wright, a New Jersey high school teacher and purposes required of a good pencil. Concord,
a member of the N.E.H. 1985 summer seminar in Mass."
Concord, in the attic of Orchard House. It COLLECTOR'S CORNER: M & S Rare Books, Wes-
is now being transferred to the Concord Free ton, Mass. 02193, is offering for sale thirty
Public Library for safe keeping. pages of miscellaneous Thoreau manuscripts for
According to the CONCORD JOURNAL for Aug. $62,500. It contains material from A WEEK,
15, 1985 there was an attempted rape at WaldenMAINE WOODS, and the journal. . . . The Rare
Pond in early August. Book Room, 125 Greenwich Ave., NYC 10014, of-
According to the CONCORD JOURNAL for Aug. fers a one-inch tintype of Thoreau for $450.
29, 1985, the selectmen of Lincoln, Mass., hav Jose Buscaglia, former artist in residence
postponed a decision to reroute Route 126 at the Concord-Carlisle High School, has con-
further back from Walden Pond. tributed to the school a mural of Thoreau,
Hedwig Deuschle has presented a copy of her Emerson and Louisa May Alcott.
undergraduate independent study thesis on "The "Thoreau Waiting for the River Ice to
Secular Gospel in Literature and in the SciencBreak, " an etching by Joel Beckwith, has been
of Man according to Thoreau, Whitman, and From issued by the Concord Art Association in an
at the College of the Virgin Islands" (1976) tedition of one hundred copies,
the Thoreau Society Archives. John Nickols of Concord tells us that the
The Thoreau Society received a thousand _ late Lawrence A. Murray, a Concord land sur-
dollars from the estate of the late Awona wil-veyor, told him that he often had to check
ona Harrington of San Diego, Calif. many of Thoreau's Concord surveys in order
According to the BOSTON GLOBE for June 16, to tie in his work with that of Thoreau and
1985, Roberta Rubini Atti and David Robinson that he always found them to be "exceptionally
Commemorative bricks now pave winthrop Lane
in downtown Boston, honoring prominent "Boston
ians." Included is one for Thoreau!
were recently married at the cairn site at
Hallmark now issues a greeting card with
the words "It is only by forgetting yourself
that you draw near to God. — Thoreau."
The elementary school in Kirkland, Wash.,
is named "the Henry David Thoreau School" and
its official mascot is the underfrog.
NEW ENGLAND COUNTRY ANTIQUES for May 1985
featured a reproduction of the Dunshee Ambro-
A feature program on Thoreau, entitled
"The Green Henry" was broadcast on West
German TV on Feb. 4, 1985.
Five nuclear protesters on trial in
Providence, R.I. for damaging missile
tubes quoted Thoreau's "Civil Disobed-
type of Thoreau and asked who could identify lt.ience" in their defense according to the
John Graves, in GOODBYE TO A RIVER ( Knopf ,
1961), a book about the Brazos River in Texas,
refers regularly to "Saint Henry David Thoreau. 1
The CHICAGO TRIBUNE for April 1, 1985 (Note
the date! ) claims that Rock stars Madonna and
Prince have been offered major roles in a pilot
for a TV sitcom loosely based on Henry David
Thoreau's WALDEN. We hope very loosely.
August 15, 1985 PROVIDENCE JOURNAL BUL-